I try to live as vegan as I can. With food I have explained myself quite a bit already. I’ve written why I don’t eat meat, dairy and eggs and there is more to come. But I also am vegan on other aspects like clothing and cosmetics. I am simply against using animals for human pleasure, in any way. Therefore I don’t buy animal products. That’s clear. But what about by-products? Products that are the so called waste or rest product from the animal product industry. Things like animal fat or leftover leather. Why don’t I use/eat those?
First I want to talk about the definition of rest products here. I am talking about products that would normally go to waste because they’re a waste stream from the animal products industry. An example is animal fat. Fat is stripped of most meat, they then use this fat for cosmetics and soaps. Another example is a leather bag made out of leftover leather. The ends of the leather so the say, the small pieces they didn’t use at first.
What I don’t mean is anything simple like milk, eggs or leather. Most non-vegans see these products as rest- or by-products. They say ‘a cow makes milk anyway’, or ‘a chicken lays eggs anyway’ or ‘why not use the leather from a cow, it’s dying anyway’. These things are simply not true. There are special cows breeded for meat, for milk and for leather. A cow breeded for meat does not give milk because it’s never impregnated. There are special cows for milk which are artificially impregnated every year so that they have babies and so give milk. We take the milk from the babies, it’s ‘not there anyways’. Similar with leather. There are special cows for leather. They are bred just for that purpose. When you buy leather you kill an individual just for the leather. They weren’t going to die anyway. My point being: these are not waste products like people see them, they are intentionally produced this way.
Today I am talking about the waste products that come from the animal products industry. Things the animal products producers can’t use theirself and so they sell it. This waste is then made into a new product. Things like fat in soap. Most people would say: ‘why don’t you use that? It’s basically waste made into a new product. Why waste it when we can make something of it?’. Here’s why.
I don’t buy waste from the animal product industry because I don’t want to support them financially. Normally, if you have any waste, you have to pay to discard your waste. When these producers get rid of this waste for free or even at a small fee (because we buy it and then make a new product from this waste) this helps them financially. Normally they would have to pay, now they don’t or they even receive money. I don’t want this to happen. I don’t want to support these companies in any way.
Yes, that means I would like to see them bankrupt. The sooner the better. I wish people who breed animals to be killed would quit theirself. But they don’t. And so the demand needs to stop. If there is no demand for animal products, not even the waste, the industry will collapse. That’s what I want.
There is one little exception: secondhand clothing. I have some leather in my closet (which I am trying to fase out as well because I don’t want to promote wearing it). I bought that secondhand. And so, this doesn’t support the animal product industry. I then supported thrift shops. Not a single euro goes to the wrong companies. That’s the difference with waste products from the animal product industry. When you buy a fabric softener for your laundry which is not vegan, you support the animal product industry. That’s because the company which makes this fabric softener buys waste (fat in this case) from the animal product industry.
This is why I always look for vegan products. I was suprised by how many products are not vegan. Non-organic lemons for example. They use animal products to make the non-organic lemons shiny. My point is: it is impossible to be perfect in veganism. But we don’t have to be perfect. As long as we try and buy vegan when there’s a label, we’re good.